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Echo Express III-R TB3 with MacBook Pro

Connect Three Full-Length PCIe Cards to Any Mac with a Thunderbolt 3 Port

PCIe Card and Notebook Icons

For pros working in the creative fields, a computer’s processing power alone is not enough to get the job done. A prime example is the latest MacBook Pro®, which, while offering great performance, lacks the PCIe expansion slots necessary to support specialty cards that connect pro video and audio inputs, transcode data, and connect to high-speed storage and networks. Instead of slots, these computers include ultra high-performance Thunderbolt 3 ports to support peripherals. Sonnet’s Echo™ Express III-R - Thunderbolt 3 Edition leverages the Thunderbolt 3 ports’ PCIe data to connect PCIe expansion slots outside of a computer. This desktop Thunderbolt-to-PCIe card expansion chassis enables you to connect three professional PCIe cards—including video capture, audio interface, SAS or SATA HBA, 16Gb or 8Gb Fibre Channel, 10 Gigabit Ethernet, and RAID controllers—at the same time to any Mac with a Thunderbolt 3 port.

The Echo Express III-R - Thunderbolt 3 Edition features a 40Gbps Thunderbolt 3 interface, which offers double the PCIe bandwidth and connectivity of Thunderbolt 2, and yields up to 2750 MB/s of bandwidth, enabling it to support 4K video capture and processing cards at high frame rates, and 16Gb FC cards and dual-port 10GbE cards at full performance(1)(2). With the ability to handle multiple demanding, highest performance PCIe cards, support for connecting two 4K displays @ 60Hz or one 5K display @ 60Hz(3), and support for a vast array of Thunderbolt(4) and USB(5) devices, Thunderbolt 3 is a leap forward in every way.



Key Features

Connects Three Full-Length PCIe Cards to any Mac® With Thunderbolt™ 3 Ports—Use multiple high-performance PCIe cards at the same time

Three PCIe 3.0 Slots—Supports three full-height, single-width cards, or one double-width card plus one single-width card

40Gbps Thunderbolt 3 Interface—Offers 2750 MB/s of PCIe bandwidth, doubling the performance of Thunderbolt 2

Two Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) Ports—One port used to connect to the computer; second port supports daisy-chaining of up to five additional Thunderbolt(4) peripheral devices to your computer, attaching a single USB(5) peripheral device, or connecting up to two 4K displays or one 5K display(3)

Remarkably Quiet—Large, temperature-controlled, variable-speed fans that automatically cool the cards, plus computer-modeled design that reduces airflow turbulence and velocity, combine to provide quieter cooling for all cards

Built-in Universal Power Supply—Integrated 300W power supply with 75W auxiliary power connector

Rugged Aluminum Housing—Provides robust and secure protection

Every Thunderbolt 3- and macOS-compatible Card Supported—Works with every Thunderbolt 3- and macOS compatible PCIe card, regardless of length or height

5-Year Warranty Included at No Extra Cost—No extra charge for a 5-year warranty

Thunderbolt Cable Included—Includes 1.0-meter Thunderbolt 3 (40Gbps) cable

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Learn More About Sonnet's Thunderbolt 3 Product Lineup



300W Power, 75 Aux Power, and Enviro-Friendly Icons

Echo Express III-R TB3 (Inside View)Three PCIe 3.0 Slots, No Compromise

Sonnet’s Echo Express III-R - Thunderbolt 3 Edition supports three full-size PCIe cards, up to 12.28 inches (full-length) long. The III-R integrates a universal 300W power supply and includes a 75W PCIe power connector for cards that require supplementary power, such as the Avid® Pro Tools|HDX or the RED® ROCKET-X.

Even with all that power, the III-R is enviro-friendly; it automatically powers on or off whenever the connected computer powers on or wakes, or powers off or sleeps, respectively.

 



Thunderbolt 3 Daisychain Diagram

Connect computer to one port on the Echo Express III-R – Thunderbolt 3 Edition and daisy chain up to 5 additional Thunderbolt devices
(plus two 4K monitors, one 5K display, or one USB 3.1 device)

40Gbps Thunderbolt 3 —
The USB C That Does It All

The Echo Express III-R - Thunderbolt 3 Edition includes two Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports; the first is used for connection to your computer, while the second supports daisy chaining of up to five additional Thunderbolt peripheral devices to a single port on your computer(4). The III-R includes 10Gbps USB 3.1 Gen 2 support, meaning you can connect a USB device to the second port using the proper cable or adapter. The III-R also provides full support for connecting two 4K displays @ 60Hz or one 5K display @ 60Hz(3). For connected devices requiring extra power, 15 watts is provided to connected bus-powered devices.



One Port Delivers Up to 40Gbps Icon
Echo Express III-R TB3 (Front View)

All-Around Smart Design

Aluminum and Auto Power IconsThe Echo Express III-R - Thunderbolt 3 Edition’s enclosure is formed of heavy-duty steel to provide secure mounting for the inner assembly and protection for the PCIe cards installed inside, and to support maximum airflow for cooling, regardless of where you install it in a rack.

Its two large, slow-spinning fans, enhanced with computer-modeled airflow management, ensure that even hot-running cards remain reliably cool without the need to install an extra PCIe blower card that would prevent the use of one of the three slots. Because the fans automatically speed up and slow down as needed, you don’t have to guess which speed setting to select, and there’s no need for tools to change settings. There is no power switch on the chassis, nor is one needed, because the III-R automatically powers on and off with your computer.


The III-R’s adjustable rackmount extension rails enable the chassis to be installed securely in a variety of racks from 16 to 24 inches deep (optional, extra-long extension rails that support installation in racks up to 32.5" deep are also available). Captive thumbscrews secure the inner assembly, enabling you to secure, release, and slide it out without the need of tools. Using an optional Mobile Rack Device Mounting Kit, you can install two 5.25-inch mobile rack devices (sold separately) in the III-R's enclosure without taking up additional rack space.

Echo Express III-R TB3 Installed Inside Mobile Rack Case

Echo Express III-R TB3 (Front View)

Captive thumbscrews provide quick and easy installation of PCIe cards and Mobile Rack Kit expansion devices
Echo Express III-R TB3 In Recording Studio

Fan with Cool AirQuiet Operator

The Echo Express III-R - Thunderbolt 3 Edition’s operation is remarkably quiet—comfortably used in noise-sensitive environments, it is one of the quietest Echo systems. The natural convection of warm air through the PCIe cards is assisted by ultra-quiet, temperature-controlled, variable-speed fans, and vented out of the chassis with reduced air velocity and turbulence, resulting in little fan noise.

Every Thunderbolt 3 and MacOS
Compatible PCIe Card Supported

The Echo Express III-D - Thunderbolt 3 Edition supports three single-width, full-length PCIe cards, or one double-width, full-length card plus one single-width card, enabling it to support every Thunderbolt 3- and macOS-compatible PCIe 1.1, PCIe 2.0, and PCIe 3.0 card available.

x8 and x16 PCIe Cards

Echo Express III-R features two x8 plus one x16 PCIe slots for versatile card support

Designed for BNC Connector Cables

Echo Express III-R’s back panel has two BNC connector mounting holes, enabling the use of a RED ROCKET card without the need to install the BNC connector bracket that would normally occupy a valuable PCIe slot.

BNC Connector Cable



Do you have a card in mind but aren’t sure it’s compatible? We’ve worked closely with PCIe card manufacturers to provide a list of compatible cards on our supporting PCIe Card Thunderbolt Compatibility Chart. The chart provides a list of cards that have been tested to be recognized over a Thunderbolt connection and compatible with Thunderbolt technology requirements.

PCIe Card Thunderbolt Compatibility Chart

RED ROCKET Supporter

Sonnet designed the Echo Express III-R - Thunderbolt 3 Edition to accommodate the RED ROCKET or RED ROCKET-X and its BNC connector bracket (for HD-SDI output) card/bracket pair in a single slot. This Echo chassis includes two BNC connector mounting holes, enabling the installation of the card in one slot and its BNC connectors in the chassis’ mounting holes, leaving the two remaining slots open.

RED ROCKET Card

RED ROCKET Card

Mobile Rack Device Mounting Kits
Mobile Rack Device Mounting Kits

Sonnet’s optional Mobile Rack Device Mounting Kits enable you to add more expansion devices to your rack without taking up additional rack space. The Mobile Rack Device Mounting Kit includes an internal 100W power supply inside to power the installed devices, a large internal fan to quietly and efficiently cool the expansion kit, and mounting hardware to secure the devices and the kit itself. Preconfigured kits include the mobile rack peripherals, PCIe card, and necessary cables; you provide drives as necessary.

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5-Year Warranty Logo5-Year Warranty Included
at No Extra Cost

Why pay an additional 10–15% on top of the purchase price to extend the warranty period beyond one year? Sonnet backs the Echo Express III-R - Thunderbolt 3 Edition with its Pro 5-year warranty.

Thunderbolt 3 CableThunderbolt 3 (40Gbps) Cable Included

To connect the Echo Express III-R - Thunderbolt 3 Edition to your computer, Sonnet includes a 1.0-meter Thunderbolt 3 (40Gbps) cable.

 

Echo Express III-D - Thunderbolt 3 Edition
Desktop Version Available

The Echo Express III - Thunderbolt 3 Edition is available in two versions, the III-R (rackmount) and III-D (desktop), to suit your workflow needs. The III-D’s form factor is perfect for users who need their expansion system to support every size of Thunderbolt-compatible cards available, and be rugged and transportable.

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Sonnet Thunderbolt Expansion Partners

Sonnet works closely with the following partners to ensure Thunderbolt compatibility for their products. See the PCIe Card Thunderbolt Compatibility Chart for a list of products that have passed Thunderbolt compatibility testing with Sonnet products.

AdobeAJAAppleApogeeArecaATTOAudinateAvidBlack Magic DesignBlueFish 444CalDigitDeltacastExaSANFocusriteFusion ioHigh PointLynx Studio TechnologyMatroxMyricomNewer TechOWCREDRMESiennaSmall Tree Softron Media ServicesSolid State LogicStorageDNATandberg DataTolis GroupTools On AirUniversal Audio


 PCIe cards and computer hardware shown in photos for illustration purposes; items sold separately.
See Tech Specs Tab for footnotes
Part No.  
ECHO-EXP3FR-TB3 Echo Express III-R - Thunderbolt 3 Edition Thunderbolt 3-to-PCIe Card Expansion System
Hardware  
Warranty 5-year
Form Factor Rackmount Thunderbolt 3-to-PCIe card expansion system
External Connectors Two Thunderbolt 3 ports
Internal Connector 6-pin Mini-Fit Jr (same type as on legacy Mac Pro motherboard; provides up to 75W of power for PCIe cards that require supplemental power)
Expansion Slots
  • One x16 mechanical (x8 electrical) PCIe 3.0
  • One x8 mechanical (x8 electrical) PCIe 3.0
  • One x8 mechanical (x4 electrical) PCIe 3.0
PCIe Cards Supported(8)
  • One full length, full-height, double-width PCIe card, plus one single-width card or
  • Three full length, full-height, single-width PCIe cards
Compatible PCIe Cards(8) PCIe cards listed on our supporting PCIe Card Thunderbolt Compatibility Chart and as specified by card manufacturers
Power Adapter
Universal 300W, 115-230V AC, 50-60 Hz(9)
Operating Temperature

0˚C to 35˚C (32˚F to 95˚F)

Dimensions (WxDxH) 19 x 16 x 3.48 in. (48.26 x 40.6 x 8.85 cm)
Weight   19 lbs (8.6 kg)
RoHS Compliant Yes
Package Contents
  • Echo Express III-R - Thunderbolt 3 Edition Thunderbolt 3-to-PCIe Card Expansion System
  • Power cord
  • Thunderbolt cable
  • Documentation

Note: PCIe cards sold separately

 

Specifications subject to change without notice.

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Mac Compatibility

Mac with Thunderbolt 3 ports

Mac with a Thunderbolt 2 or Thunderbolt port with an Apple Thunderbolt 3 (USB C) to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter

macOS 10.12+

Windows Compatibility

Not certified for Windows systems at this time.

PCIe Card Compatibility

For up-to-date PCIe card compatibility see our PCIe Card Thunderbolt Compatibility Chart


Technical Notes

  1. While the Echo Express III-R - Thunderbolt 3 Edition features a 40Gbps Thunderbolt 3 interface, some computers equipped with Thunderbolt 3 use an implementation of Thunderbolt 3 technology that limits PCIe performance to 20Gbps. The MacBook Pro (13-inch, Late 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports) has this limitation in the two right-hand Thunderbolt 3 ports, while offering full performance from the left-hand ports.
  2. Full performance requires the use of the included Thunderbolt 3 (40Gbps) cable, or other Thunderbolt 3 (40Gbps) cables; look for the Thunderbolt icon AND the number 3 on the connector housings to identify these cables.
  3. One 4K monitor directly supported. Two 4K monitors requires either a 4K monitor with multi-stream transport support (DP out), or a Thunderbolt 3-to-Dual DisplayPort adapter. 5K monitor requires a Thunderbolt 3-to-Dual DisplayPort adapter. All Thunderbolt 3 Macs support two 4K monitors. Most Thunderbolt PCs support two 4K monitors.
  4. Second Thunderbolt 3 port supports Thunderbolt and Thunderbolt 2 peripheral devices on Macs used with the Apple Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter, sold separately.
  5. Second Thunderbolt 3 port supports USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5Gb) or Gen 2 (10Gb) devices when connected with proper cable or adapter (sold separately).
  6. The Echo Express III-R - Thunderbolt 3 Edition provides 15 watts of upstream power.
  7. PCIe cards and Mobile Rack Device Mounting Kit sold separately.
  8. Compatibility requires the installation of Thunderbolt technology-aware drivers, available from the manufacturer. See our supporting PCIe Card Thunderbolt Compatibility Chart for a partial list of compatible PCIe cards. Check with card manufacturers for the latest Thunderbolt compatibility information.
  9. Power supply will operate as low as 90VAC, with linear power deration from 300W @ 115VAC to 240W @ 90VAC.
  10. 1.0-meter Thunderbolt 3 (40Gbps) cable may slightly reduce performance of cards that depend on very high bandwidth, and is not compatible with ThunderLok 3.


Mac LogoWindows Logo PCI Express LogoroHS Logo

 

 

Accessories Part No. Description
Thunderbolt 3 Cable Thunderbolt 3 (40 Gbps) Cable TCB-TB3-05M 0.5-meter Thunderbolt 3 (40Gbps) cable
Thunderbolt 3 Cable Thunderbolt 3 (40 Gbps) Cable TCB-TB3-1M 1-meter Thunderbolt 3 (40Gbps) cable
Mobile Rack Kit (Basic Edition) Mobile Rack Device Mounting Kit (Basic Edition) EXP3FR-MRM 2MR bays and powered mobile rack kit
Mobile Rack Kit (Storage Exansion x8 Edition) Mobile Rack Device Mounting Kit (Storage Expansion x8 Edition) MR-STO-X8SSD Powered mobile rack kit with optional devices, PCIe card, and cables
Mobile Rack Kit (Blu-ray Mastering Edition) Mobile Rack Device Mounting Kit (Blu-ray Mastering Edition) MR-BRM-X2S1H Powered mobile rack kit with optional devices, PCIe card, and cables
Mobile Rack Kit (Mac Pro Migration Edition) Mobile Rack Device Mounting Kit (Mac Pro Migration Edition) MR-MPM-X3HD Powered mobile rack kit with optional devices, PCIe card, and cables
Mobile Rack Kit (Data Archiving Storage Edition) Mobile Rack Device Mounting Kit (Data Archiving Storage Edition) MR-LTO-X4SSD Powered mobile rack kit with optional devices, PCIe card, and cables
 

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